NSW COR review on the way

Anticipated review into chain of responsibility laws in NSW to be released in February. But what will it contain?

By Brad Gardner | January 21, 2010

An anticipated review into chain of responsibility laws in NSW will be released next month.

The review was launched in the aftermath of the Roads and Traffic Authority’s (RTA) failed bid to prosecute GrainCorp in the Supreme Court for overloading breaches.

A spokesperson for the RTA says the review will be released to the Road Freight Advisory Council (RFAC) when it meets in February after the group last year raised concerns about the effectiveness of the laws.

"It will be a major agenda item," the spokesperson says, adding that he does not know what it will contain.

Stockmaster Managing Director is a member of the council, which he says is meeting on February 18.

While unsure of what the review will recommend, Savage expects it will examine the findings of the GrainCorp case.

"Just how they will tighten it up I don’t know," Savage says.

He says there was a strong feeling from attendees of the last meeting the laws needed to be looked at and possibly strengthened.

Savage is particularly critical of the drivers who were carting overloaded trucks and ignored multiple warnings from GrainCorp.

"That just means they were laughing at the law or the system," he says.

"I believe the truck should have been stood down."

Minister Assisting the Minister for Transport David Borger announced the review in November last year, saying it was expected to be completed by Christmas.

Savage, who is also the president of the Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association (LBCA), expects the livestock sector will be targeted by authorities to ensure it is meeting its chain of responsibility obligations.

He says he attended a saleyard conference in the NSW region of Inverell last year where an RTA representative warned the livestock sector.

Savage says the LBCA will this year be focussing on trying to get a livestock loading scheme introduced – a move that could boost productivity by lifting weight restrictions.

He says the group will also look at safety, as the industry reels from a horror start to the year due to the number of crashes involving trucks over the holiday period.

The RFAC is a government-industry roundtable that includes Peter Fox from Linfox, Ron Finemore and the Victorian Transport Association’s (VTA) Phil Lovel.

The RTA is appealing the Supreme Court’s ruling.

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